The biggest goal setting hurdle – the disconnect

Back in 2011 I decided I was going to enter the BMX Worlds when they were held in Auckland, New Zealand (my home town) – a whole 2 years later. I knew I had a good lead up to learn new skills and get even fitter.

I had no illusions about being a contender but at our regular race meets we talked about how great it would be if the final was a “black out”, meaning that all 8 riders would be from NZ where our sports uniforms are usually black and white. I knew that by becoming the best rider I could be that I’d be spurring the ladies who normally beat me to work harder and get faster too. If I couldn’t win I wanted them to.

3801But I struggled. I had conflicting priorities and the Worlds seemed a long, long way off. I’d find reasons not to train, and I’d eat poorly putting my nutrition way low down the list of things to do. I was completely disconnected from my goal. I wanted to do the event, but it was all talk and no emotional connection.

By chance, I found an audio book that discussed weight loss and how people can’t really see themselves achieving their goal. The truth of it hit home, I couldn’t really see myself at the Worlds. Intellectually I knew I was going but I couldn’t really believe it and that meant I was finding it all too easy to skimp today on the tasks that would get me there.

The amazing thing was that once I realised what was going on it wasn’t that hard to put things straight. Just taking those few moments at traffic lights I was able to visualise myself on the gate, in the arena and riding the track.

I was also able to visualise my disappointment at being unprepared, at not having done the work. And then I could choose which future I wanted.

Every time I wanted to skip training or slack off I just had to bring up those two outcomes and it became surprisingly easy to put on the gear and get going.

I’ve now got another goal in mind – and that’s to enter an event called The Hillary. It’s November now and the event is at the end of February so I’ve got 4 months to prepare, run the course and get a bit fitter. I can feel the heat, the exhaustion and the satisfaction of being able to say that I’ve done it. I know that the more work I do now, the easier it’s going to be and because I can visualise being at the event and running the course it’s no problem getting out there and doing it.

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